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canal

Canal Boating

What could be more relaxing than lazily floating downstream on a canal boat and watching the scenery roll by? This is the perfect chance to really get to see an area without the stress of driving or negotiating public transport (unless you so wish), and take in a new perspective on the landscape.

Staying on a barge is a unique experience and the chance to immerse yourself in a different way of life and canal boats have a real character that can't be imitated. Never travelling at speed, the most action comes when you get the chance to navigate a lock, and you can moor at a huge range of locations from rural seclusion to busy city centres across the wonderful landscapes of the UK, Europe and beyond.

We list some of the best - and greenest - barge holiday opportunities below. For more information on barges and canal boating (particularly in the UK), check out Canal Boat magazine online.

Richardson's Boats, The Broads, Norfolk

Boats at Richardson's, Stalham, Norfolk Broads

Established for over 60 years, and still family-owned and -run, based in the small town of Stalham, Richardson’s has the largest fleet of motor cruisers on the Broads available at a mind-boggling range of prices available for day or week long hire.
From £245 to £2500 depending on type and size of boat and...

More Boating

Hunter's Yard

Boats at Hunter's Yard, Norfolk Broads, England

Hunter's Yard, a charity dedicated to preserving and celebrating the classic wooden Broads yachts and half-decker sailing boats, rents them by the day, week or more for you to stay afloat, or take a skippered sail to give you a taster.
five 2 berth boats, five 3 berth boats, four 4 berth boats.

Between £559 and £774 boat hire for five days.

Float by Boat chugging along a canal lined with purple and cream wildflowers

Float by Boat, Warwickshire, UK

The UK's only narrowboat retreat, offering mindfulness meditation, hearty organic food, canal cruising and a restful pace of life. Jump on board for a mindfulness break, a yoga weekend, learn foraging; or charter the whole boat for a group of friends
3 cabins; 1 double, 1 double/twin and a 4 bed bunk dorm

£235 per night for 2 people fully inclusive of all meals, canal cruising, accommodation, parking and meditation sessions. B&B is £90 per night for 2 people (limited availability). Yoga & Foraging weekends are £275 per night for 2 people fully inclusive. Day trips are £300 for 4-8 people.

Richardson's Boats, The Broads, Norfolk

Boats at Richardson's, Stalham, Norfolk Broads

Established for over 60 years, and still family-owned and -run, based in the small town of Stalham, Richardson’s has the largest fleet of motor cruisers on the Broads available at a mind-boggling range of prices available for day or week long hire.
Over 100 boats available sleeping from 2-9

From £245 to £2500 depending on type and size of boat and season

Exterior of Gårdshotellet Påarps Gård

Gårdshotellet Påarps Gård, Västergötland, Sweden

This fabulous conference centre is hidden in the middle of a forest – a great away-from-it-all venue for a business meetings or family gatherings. Choose from double rooms, cabins in the woods or camping. There's a great restaurant onsite, too.
12 rooms (hotel), plus 5 cabins, a barn for 12, and camping

From 595 Kr per double room

Boats at Norfolk Broads Direct, Wroxham

Norfolk Broads Direct, based in Wroxham, offers luxury boats sleeping 2-11 people, allowing you to explore the 125 miles of beautiful waterways in comfort and style, awarded the Green Boat Mark, they are doing their bit to be as eco as possible.
25 Boats sleeping from 2-11

£300-£2500 depending on size of boat and season